Karen Langley reports that the once-a-day Pennsylvanian between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg will receive state funding after all:
The Corbett administration says it reached an agreement Thursday with Amtrak that will preserve daily rail service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg by reducing the cost to state government.
Under the revised agreement with Amtrak, the agency would maintain the Pennsylvanian, with one train a day in each direction between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. The line serves stations including Greensburg, Johnstown, Altoona, Huntingdon and Lewistown and continues through to Philadelphia and New York City.
The deal with the federal rail agency reduces a state contribution that was scheduled to rise in October to $6.5 million annually. Instead, the state will be required to pay $3.8 million annually for the line, according to the administration.
Unfortunately expanding the service frequency to multiple trips per day doesn’t seem to be on the immediate agenda. Rail is a better mode than air travel for this short of a distance, and we need a serious commitment from Harrisburg to giving people real options besides relatively slow cars and buses for traveling between PA’s major metros.